Thank you for the photo and story about student enthusiasm for serving in World War I (That Was Then, Feb. 7). My grandfather Elias Wolf 1920 was one of those Princetonians swept up in war fever. Despite being descended from Germans (albeit German Jews), and despite being a very nonviolent, happy-go-lucky person, he became so fanatic about killing Germans that he convinced his reluctant parents to let him drop out of Princeton and sign up for war. As he told the story, it was a cautionary tale: If someone like him could get so swept up in propaganda, anyone could. It’s a lesson I’ve carried with me my whole life. Fortunately for his descendants, the war ended just as he was about to be shipped out. He had no doubt that had he gone to war, his enthusiasm would have carried him first over the trench, and I wouldn’t be here.

Geoff Stephens ’84
Bozeman, Mont.